Serena Williams pensive - US Open

‘Serena Williams isn’t choking, she just isn’t good enough to win major titles anymore’, says Mats Wilander

Serena Williams is not ‘choking’ because she is on the verge of history, says Mats Wilander. She is just no longer good enough to win major titles.

Williams lost int he semi-finals of the US Open to old rival Victoria Azarenka on Thursday to prolong her wait for what would be a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title.

She hasn’t won a Grand Slam for nearly four years now, and has lost four finals since she returned after giving birth to her daughter.

However, former world number one Wilander says the problems are not mental.

“Serena hates to lose, wants to keep playing because she enjoys the competition and life,” Eurosport expert Wilander said. “Is she choking because she wants to win a 24th title?

“Or is she just not good enough any more? That’s the big question. Personally, I just don’t think she’s quite good enough any more.

“I don’t see it as choking because she’s been so far away from these finals and tournaments.”

Williams has previously enjoyed a big ‘fear factor’ over opponents, but that was borne of an aura of invincibility.

With every defeat, though, that aura fades a little more and Wilander wonders whether it’s still strong enough to be an advantage.

“Serena Williams is most probably losing a little bit of ground to the field every time a Grand Slam comes around,” he said.

Serena Williams forehand US Open

“Are there more girls that are better and can take more confidence out of her by playing her in three sets?

“Serena played three straight three setters going into this match and that’s not good for her confidence.

“I think the dept of the women’s game has taken the confidence out of someone like Serena who is used to winning easily. When it does get close, she then seems to play her worst tennis.

“Serena isn’t as good as she used to be, and the rest of the field is better and they all feel they can beat her.

“She finds it tough to beat the better players 6-2, 6-2 any more.

“The locker room now realises that they have a chance against her. She’s still very good, just not great any more.

“Serena could have well won this match, she was leading. I think she just needs to keep plugging away, she might get one but the younger players seem to be getting better and better and going away from her a little bit.

“I think her dream is to win a Slam, I don’t think it’s the 24th title. I think she knows she’s the best ever and I think she just wants to win again.

“I don’t think it matters to any of them – Roger, Rafa – not while they are playing anyway.”

Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.